Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Japanese Tom Savini

            In particular I wanted to talk in part about three movies briefly I’ve seen recently where the special effects were done in part by Yoshihiro Nishimura, the Japanese Tom Savini. Tom Savini in case you didn’t know is a very well known special effects man who specializes in gore and the horror genre.  Nishimura has a style that is really interesting.

Go ahead.  Make my day.
            For those of you that enjoy “Kill Bill” and the geysers of blood then this is the style you will get. The first movie I saw of his was a fun little bit of ridiculousness called “The Machine Girl” It’s about a school girl out to avenge the death of her brother and his friend at the hands of a ninja yakuza gang.  When the gang chops off her arm she attaches a machine gun and becomes all sorts of badass.  Yes it is mighty ridiculous and it’s gory as hell but of my god is it ever a fun ride.

But can she juggle three?
              “Toyko Gore Police” was one Nishimura wrote and directed as well.  It had tons of head explosions and upped the ante in a big way.  This time making a story a surreal tale about a privatized police force that hunts down insane creatures with tumors in the shape of a key.  It’s a bizarre one but it is still worth a rental.  But not nearly as much fun as the last one I am going to mention.

Ooh! That's gonna require some stitches.
            “Samurai Princess” was about a feudal Japan but with a twist, there are people that are hunted down because they are “mechs” or humans with weapon body parts.  It’s A LOT like “Tokyo Gore Police” in a lot of ways. But the plot moves a lot smoother. Still it’s seems like a comic come to life in a lot of ways.  But I really think there are a lot better movies that do that in an original fashion as well without being too odd to even Western audiences. 

            Still, if you can stomach the fountains of blood they are worth seeing.  It is a nice for a bit of something different if all you are used to in Japanese cinema is Kurosawa, Monster movies, or the standard J-horror with the little girl with long hair in front of her face. But start off with “The Machine Girl”  it’s the one with a plot that is at least most together even though everything about it is over the top.

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